If you want to have something special from Bali you should consider batik—beautiful cloth decorated in an artistic way. It is both an art and craft, so unique that UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practised for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. There is also Sundanese, Sumatran or Balinese batik.
To make a batik, selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour. This process of waxing and dyeing can be repeated to create more elaborate and colourful designs. After the final dyeing, the wax is removed and the cloth is ready for wearing or showing.
Contemporary batik, while owing much to the past, is markedly different from the more traditional and formal styles. In Bali, you can find batik with drawings such as frangipani, birds or fishes.
Batik is historically the most expressive and subtle of the resist methods. The ever widening range of techniques available offers the artist the opportunity to explore a unique process in a flexible and exciting way.
You can find many batik choices in Bali. One of the most famous designers who makes amazing batik clothes is Milo Migliavacca, Italian fashion designer who arrived in Bali more than 40 years ago.
He wove his impressions inspired by Balinese handicrafts into developing his signature rayon-jersey, silk-jersey, applique embroidery and knit. He then extended his collections to include silk chiffon, silk organza and ultimately redefine the traditional technique of batik. He has his boutiques in Kuta and Seminyak, as well as in some high-end resorts in Nusa Dua. You can also have a look at fine batiks in Senada Batik Bali in Jalan Arjuna in Seminyak or Lucy’s Batik in Jalan Raya Basangkasa in Kuta.